That old rotter

Richardson Theatre Centre coaxes a bit of wit from an Agatha Christie warhorse

Then, at the end, something rather unexpected and exciting happens. The actors appear on stage and do a weird and funny voguing routine, shrouded in the ubiquitous stage mist. To the beat of anachronistic '90s dance music, they preen and strike silly glamour poses, and suddenly there's some wit and life in this stodgy old Christie war-horse. The dance number shows again the great grist for farce that lies beneath this and most other conventional genre pieces.

If only the production had got to the comedic bottom line faster. As K.C. and the Sunshine Band put it, unwittingly speaking for the modern theater audience, "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it."

Murder on the Nile runs through October 7 at the Richardson Theatre Centre. 699-1130.

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